Giddey stars in OKC win over Nets in NBA

The eagerly anticipated NBA clash between compatriots Ben Simmons and Josh Giddey hasn't eventuated in New York.

Brooklyn's Simmons missed Sunday night's contest with Oklahoma City due to back soreness - the Nets announcing 22 minutes before tip-off that the 26-year-old was out.

But Giddey made sure Thunder and Australian NBA fans in general still enjoyed the contest at Barclays Center by scoring his season-high and an equal game-high 28 points, on 12 of 21 shooting from the field, in the 112-102 win.

"It's positive times," Giddey said.

"For a young team, we're making improvements. Obviously it's such a long way to go but we're headed in the right direction. The morale around the group is really high right now. We're feeling good."

The 20-year-old Melburnian fell just shy of his seventh triple-double, adding nine rebounds and nine assists as OKC earned a third straight win to wrap up an east coast road trip and improved to 21-23 and 12th in the Western Conference standings.

Oklahoma City used a 15-6 spurt over the first four minutes of the final quarter to take a 90-86 lead, with Giddey scoring nine points to spearhead their push.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander also scored 28 points for the Thunder, while Luguentz Dort drained five of his seven triples for 22 points.

"We've got a really strong, connected group," Giddey said.

"That goes a long way as a young team because guys can get caught up in their own individual stuff. But (our) guys don't do that. It's all about the team."

Seth Curry led Brooklyn (27-15), who were also missing Kevin Durant (knee), with 23 points.

Nic Claxton recorded his team-best 12th double-double of the season with 17 points and 12 rebounds, Kyrie Irving had 14 points and Boomers skipper Patty Mills six on 2-of-3 from three-point range.

Simmons had sat out five games with left knee soreness, four with a calf strain, and one with knee-and-calf injury management this season.

LeBron James scored 35 points with 10 assists for the Los Angeles Lakers while reaching the 38,000-point mark for his career on a first-quarter basket in a 113-112 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

James is one of just two players to reach the scoring plateau as he closes in on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's NBA record 38,387 points.

He looked determined early, scoring 16 points in the first quarter and reaching 38,001 points on a jumper from the top of the key with 5:43 remaining in the opening period.

Chicago beat Golden State for the first time since 2017, winning 132-118. Nikola Vucevic matched a career high with 43 points as the Bulls snapped an 11-game losing streak against the defending champion Warriors.

Klay Thompson scored 26 points and Stephen Curry added 20 for Golden State (21-22), who have dropped four of their last five games.

Elsewhere, the Los Angeles Clippers were 121-100 winners over the Houston Rockets, the Sacramento Kings saw off the San Antonio Spurs 132-119 and the New York Knicks defeated the Detroit Pistons 117-104.

There were also wins for Denver Nuggets and the Portland Trail Blazers.

With AP.